A controlled facility for the reception, sorting, processing, interim storage and transfer of waste.
The overall objective of this project was to improve the waste management system in Gozo by developing a controlled facility for the processing of waste to replace the only landfill site on the island. The Material Recovery Facility sorts waste received from Bring-In Sites and the door-to-door collection of separated waste into three fractions: plastics, paper and cardboard, and metals through a semi-automated mechanical process. The Municipal Solid Waste is collected at the Transfer Station where it is compacted in hermetically sealed containers and transferred to Malta for further treatment. The project thus contributes to minimise the landfilling of waste by primarily segregating the waste, which is directed for treatment. Also, efficient compaction results in more efficient transportation from Gozo to Malta thus reducing both the operational costs and the carbon footprint.

This project was intended to achieve three main objectives:
1. To reduce transportation between the Islands thus applying the proximity principle;
2.To reduce the disamenities of waste management for Gozo residents by closing down the Qortin landfill and providing a controlled facility for the proper processing of waste.
3. To contribute in the development of Gozo into an ecological destination.

The main beneficiaries of this project are the residents of Gozo who are now benefiting from a cleaner environment.

Resources needed

The cost of this project was of EUR10.3m and was co-financed from the Cohesion Fund 2007-2013.

This project has generated 28 full-time jobs in the Material Recovery Facility on the Island of Gozo.

Evidence of success

All recyclable waste generated in Gozo is being collected at the Waste Transfer Station and sorted through the Material Recovery Facility in line with the proximity principle. Waste received in the transfer station is being compacted in hermetically sealed containers and delivered to Malta for further processing. The compaction of waste has reduced the number of trips between the two Islands.

The landfill volume saved on an annual basis through this project is estimated at 15,100m3.

Difficulties encountered

The need for variations in the works contract during the course of project implementation has caused an extension in the project's completion date.

Potential for learning or transfer

This project is considered to be an environmental success for Gozo. Today, all waste generated in Gozo is being collected in a controlled and safe environment for further processing. The organisation of waste sorting and recovery contributes to the circular economy and deviates waste from the landfill.

This practice can be adopted by all regions where the sorting and recovery of waste is not yet optimal. Indirectly, this practice also contributes to landfill management as it prevents the loss of valuable resources by reducing the amount of waste diverted to landfill.

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Main institution
WasteServ Malta Ltd.
Malta, Malta
Start Date
January 2009
End Date
December 2016


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